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Benn: Still room for improvement


Philip Hackett at Kensington Oval

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Harsh self-criticism arguably fosters high standards and despite an impressive first day five-wicket haul, West Indies left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn believes there is room for improvement.
Benn put in a marathon bowling performance to take five wickets for 93 runs from 26.2 overs as West Indies bowled New Zealand out for 293 on the opening day of the decisive third Test and ended the day on 32 without loss.
Fellow Barbadian Kemar Roach, who put the New Zealanders under early pressure with two early strikes, took four for 61 from 18 overs but the hard-working Benn bowled the bulk of the overs amidst some resilient batting from the New Zealand lower order.
“I think as a team we are very satisfied with the position we are in at the moment,” Benn told WEEKEND SPORT after the close of play.
“Personally it’s slightly different because I got five wickets but I was not very pleased with my spell entirely though I would take that any day,” Benn said.
“The guys played some good shots but they were scoring a bit too easily off of me. I don’t know if they made up their minds they were going to try to score off of me or what the mind set was but all in all I must still have some control of what happens with my bowling,” Benn explained.
The lanky left-hander, who has seemingly adjusted rather quickly to international cricket after a prolonged absence, put in another tough day’s work following a gruelling outing in the previous Test in Trinidad.
“As a spinner you have got to be prepared to put in some long hard yards and I have been doing that throughout my career so I guess it comes naturally,” Benn said when quizzed on the physical effects of his workload.
From early in his spell, Benn troubled the batsmen with turn and bounce, but he still believes the pitch to be a good batting strip and “a sporting” one.
Benn attributed his good bowling form to the momentum he gained during a successful first-class season but admitted there were times when he gave some consideration to his future as a cricketer when he was away from the international scene.
“Just coming out of the first-class season as well it gives you a little rhythm. Getting some wickets in that and coming in and feeling a part of the team again obviously augurs well for your mental perspective of the game so it’s good,” Benn said.
“I can say that they had times when I thought about doing other things but at the end of the day if you love cricket whatever you love you are going to always go back to it regardless,” he remarked when asked about the mental strength that helped him keep his focus on cricket.
His immediate attention, however is geared towards this match and Benn believes the West Indies are well placed to dictate the pace.
“Bowling out a team on the first day gives you a lot of opportunities to bat for as long as you want and reassess what you want to do as a bowling unit.
“We have some time to bat and we’ll try to do that,” Benn said.

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